Helping more rural Ontarians benefit from high-speed internet
April 21, 2022
Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
OXFORD COUNTY – As part of the Ontario governments plan to connect every community to high-speed internet by 2025, the governments of Canada and Ontario are investing nearly $500,000 to bring fast, reliable high-speed internet to more than 200 homes, farms and businesses in Oxford County.
In partnership with Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) Inc., the completion of this broadband project in September 2022 will help connect the communities of Culloden, Delmer and Ostrande, to the high-speed internet service they need and deserve. These new connections will help farms and businesses to attract new customers, grow their operations and create new jobs while also enabling people to connect online to work, learn and pursue opportunities.
“A fast and reliable internet connection is essential to the growth and prosperity of all Canadian communities,” said Jennifer O’Connell, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities. “In partnership with the Government of Ontario, our government is thrilled that construction of a new fibre optic network has begun, providing the communities of Culloden, Delmer and Ostrander with enhanced internet access. This network will soon connect hundreds of homes, farms and businesses with family, friends, customers and essential services.”
“Our government is getting it done and delivering on its commitment to provide access to high-speed internet throughout rural Ontario,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “Building new broadband infrastructure in Oxford County will help build Ontario and strengthen rural communities by helping people stay in touch with loved ones, enabling them to access the supports they need while providing a much-needed boost to the local economy.”
“For several years, I have been advocating for reliable and affordable broadband for rural Ontario residents,” said Oxford MPP Ernie Hardeman. “The construction of new broadband infrastructure will benefit numerous families and businesses and help to expand and create new opportunities. Our government has made internet expansion a priority and we are getting it done, not only for residents in Oxford County but across the province.”
The contract to expand broadband services in Oxford County were awarded by Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) Inc, a not-for-profit corporation, initiated by local municipalities to address connectivity in Southwestern Ontario. More than $255 million has been invested by the Governments of Canada and Ontario and the private sector, to bring high-speed internet to more than 63,000 households and businesses in Southwestern Ontario through SWIFT by the end of 2025.
“SWIFT is proud to partner with the federal and provincial governments as we continue to expand broadband service throughout Southwestern Ontario,” said Gary McNamara, SWIFT Board Chair. “With the important infrastructure investments made in Oxford County and with construction now underway within the Townships of South-West Oxford and Zorra, many more residents and communities will soon have access to long-term sustainable fibre-optic connectivity.”
- The Governments of Canada and Ontario are each contributing more than $63 million to SWIFT through the New Building Canada Fund’s Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component – Small Communities Fund of the Investing in Canada plan.
- The Ontario Government is committing nearly $4 billion in broadband infrastructure to connect every region of the province with access to high-speed internet by the end of 2025. This proactive approach is the largest single investment in high-speed internet, in any province, by any government in Canadian history.
- Expanding access to broadband and cellular service is part of Ontario Onwards: Ontario’s COVID-19 Action Plan for a People-Focused Government, which includes more than 30 projects that are changing the way people and businesses interact with government.